Published On: Thu, Jul 14th, 2016

‘Wizard of Oz’ is a dazzling Broadway show with fun, great effects and performances

Adapting The Wizard of Oz for a Broadway performance would be a daunting task and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version may upset some die hard fans with new songs and material, but the amazing effects and talented performances will delight both young and old. This is no Wicked, but joyful ride down that yellow brick road with all of your favorite moments and some new elements to flush out the show for a two-hour fun-filled night.

Running at the Straz Center in Tampa through July 17, fans can witness Maryland grad Sarah Lasko belt out Over the Rainbow as the tender hearted Dorothy dreaming of a bigger and grander life away from the small farm in Kansas. Aaron Fried as the Cowardly Lion proves to be a great homage to the famous performance by Bert Lahr.

"Wizard of Oz" is an entertaining night of fun photo courtesy of Straz Center

“Wizard of Oz” is an entertaining night of fun photo courtesy of Straz Center

A real terrier stars as Toto and delivers as many great moments as some of the canine’s human co-stars.

While there were no poor performances, the show dazzles with a video segments to move the audience to and from Oz, as well as enhance other scenes like the attack of the Wicked Witch’s minions. I’ve read some poor reviews of the show and was impressed beyond expectation. This isn’t Wicked and some critics need to get over themselves.

The teen angst and rebellion by Dorothy doesn’t play as well as the dreamy version of the character we usually associate with the story. Mark A. Harmon’s Wizard and Morgan Reynolds as Scarecrow were the weaker roles in the production but nothing worthy of criticism shown by some outlets. Glinda (Rachel Womble) has a delightful edge in this version, more witty and less regal.

Admittedly, there were a few sounds issues and staging problems during our show, but this was fun and entertaining night. The first act is way more entertaining that the latter as the lack of motion made the production seems less fantastical. Tim Rice’s new songs were not always necessary and full of lyrics spoonfeeding plot points to the audience.

Wizard of Oz receives 4 out of 5 stars




The Wizard of Oz, will play the Straz Center’s Morsani Hall, July 12-17. Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m.

Regularly priced tickets are $32.50-$75.50, and may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at www.strazcenter.org. Handling fees will apply. For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit www.strazcenter.org.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. 'The Wizard of Oz' Broadway Show at Straz July 12 through July 17 - Tampa Dispatch says:

    […] UPDATE: Check out a full review of the show by Dispatch’s Brandon Jones, HERE […]

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